Ed:Blog: Digital in Dumbo

Every digital district seems to impart its own quirks and eccentricities onto its inhabitants. Boulder ain't Boston and San Francisco is a world away from São Paolo. The original capital D Digital District (perhaps only in that some of its residents have claimed that moniker for themselves), DUMBO is an apt starting place for us to explore sense of place in the agency world. It's long been an aim of this magazine to chronicle these cultural differences, but it took a somewhat quarrelsome exchange to finally see it through to fruition as a proper package, though we hope to bring you more of the same in the future.

While working on our sister publication MEDIA with David Skokna, founder and former creative director (he recently announced his departure from the agency he helped build) of Brooklyn-based Huge, we had the opportunity to spend a bit more time than usual in DUMBO. We also spent some QT with the guys at Big Spaceship, Mike Germano of Carrot Creative (often credited with/blamed for the Digital District tag), Tim Nolan of Hush and others in the belly of the digital beast. From observing Digital DUMBO networking gatherings to sharing beers at Superfine, we found an altogether different animal from what we encounter just a few minutes due north, at the center of the ad world.

The fruits of our, at times contentious, relationship with Skokna produced some fine material, but some of what we discussed just didn't make sense in a Future of Media issue. You can read what did fit and more about where Skokna and our editors agreed and disagreed elsewhere. But on these pages you have the chance to see what you otherwise might not have. Some of it, such as J. Mitchell McMahon's exploration of the agencies in his home neighborhood, you'll hopefully find inspiring. Some of the sillier stuff -- things to which we must point out Skokna took exception -- such as our pitting of Biggie Smalls vs. the digital hipster and the Digerati Annotated, we hope will at least make you crack a smile.

Follow John on Twitter @justcapone

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